Day 257 Question 257:
What level of gun control is appropriate? Should guns for the “average citizen” be legal?
In the past 10 years (and many more before that) we have read about and have been exposed to stories of citizens going into movie theaters and shooting innocent people or walking into a classroom and murdering several classmates. We have heard of mothers shooting their innocent children and disgruntled employees shooting their current or former bosses. I cannot even image what statistic show when it comes to gun violence in this country alone…let alone in the entire world. With this being said, violence does not only come in one form. So, should the government step in and ban every average Joe or Tom, Dick and Harry from owning a gun. If not, then what should the regulations be?
The idea of violence being a necessary tool for self-protection is unfortunately a necessary evil in this country. It is the one thing that I hate about the world….the idea that so many people (general citizens, government officials and military personnel) need to carry a weapon for their day to day survival (which sometimes does not even protect them). Violence is one of those things in the world that I wish I could change but it is something that is bigger than me…way bigger than me. Many people believe in order to see results then violence is the only answer….it is a mentality that cannot be changed in many. It is one of those things that I must accept for society but would never accept for myself. So, should your average citizen be able to carry a gun? I believe yes but I do believe that individuals are able to obtain weapons far too easily in this country. I realize that if someone wants a gun they will get it…even if it means purchasing it illegally or stealing it. No matter what laws and regulations the government makes about gun control, the people are going to find a way to get guns. Just like sex education and the value of nutrition and fitness, I believe violence and gun/weapon control should be something that the masses should be educated on. Not everyone will listen but the tools should at least be provided and with gun control, I believe the people need to hear the cold hard facts. The people need to hear the harsh details and descriptions about accidental shootings and cases of gruesome murders and the penalties that people are faced with. Of course there should be regulations with gun control but for the government to ban guns for the general public entirely, they are asking for many more problems and I truly believe they would see crime rates increase drastically. People do not like to have their choices taken from them. People feel belittled when they are treated like lesser of people because the government believes the people are not intelligent enough to use guns with caution and safety in mind. There will always be gun nuts out there and people that are going to resort to violence regardless of any laws or regulations. This does not mean that the entire population should have their rights (what I believe to be a right) taken away because of the poor choices of some. There is nothing that gets under my skin more than the blaming of a group for the mere actions of a few. We want our population to use common sense and to treat people with respect and kindness but when the government makes them do this or does not allow them to do that, then (in my opinion), we are telling the people they are not smart enough….not smart enough to make good decisions. This can certainly piss some people off…which in turn can lead to mass murder or shooting sprees or any other violence on a small or large scale.
I know I go on rants about the government controlling people. I also know I do not know the ins and outs of how the government works. Some people bark at me and tell me that we need government to keep the control and that things are how they are so I should just accept it and just shut up. I accept it but it doesn’t mean I have to like it. When the government makes all of these rules and laws for the people (yes, I realize some are necessary in this day and age) it says (at least to me): We do not trust you to make a good or well thought out decision on your own so we are going to make it for you. I realize that guns are extremely dangerous and I also realize that not every average Joe needs to be carrying one around but the people should have the right. There are (necessary) hoops to be jumped through in order to obtain a weapons license and more hoops for actually purchasing the weapon. I believe we just have to hope that people will make the right decisions when it comes to using a weapon. It is inevitable that some will not but that is nothing that can be controlled no matter how hard we try (by taking away their ability to buy a weapon)….criminals will find a way to buy a gun or any weapon if they have a mission in mind and if it’s not a gun it will be some other form of weapon.
I completely agree! And I love the willy wonka pic at the top 😉
I have a lot of thoughts here. I’m Canadian and am grateful we have the gun laws that we do. I’m glad that people can’t carry concealed weapons. Even ‘normal’ people get angry and react without any thought. Take a look at parenting as an example… I worked in child welfare and while it is not against the law to spank a child with an open hand I would tell parents we do not recommend it because more often than not parents are angry when they see their kid doing something they shouldn’t or if they break something expensive… They then will spank the child to ‘teach’ them but if the parent is angry, how much force are they really using and are they disciplining or reacting out of anger? If you give someone the right to carry a concealed weapon and someone does something, unknowingly or knowingly and it pisses the gun toting person off… They may react using too much force, like shooting them. Let me give you an example… Calgary, Canada has an annual Stampede and tourists come from all over the world. We do not allow concealed weapons. This American couple was walking through a park(in broad daylight) and two strangers, young men, approached them and asked if they had been to the stampede. The American man instantly felt threatened, because he felt they were con men using the guise of ‘so called Canadian hospitality’… He instinctively reached for his gun that wasn’t there… Imagine if he had his gun? One or two guys could have been shot because they were simply nice guys making small talk. You don’t need weapons to defend yourself. Use common sense and if need be, some form of self defense training (ie. martial arts). I think the worst we can do is assume everyone is out to harm us. I am a woman and I have been approached by drunk people many time. I have had angry parents yelling at me and posturing… i always knew where my way out was. I think having people jump through hoops to get a gun license/gun is good. No different than getting a drivers license. In one province in Canada they have strict rules and regulations on how long you have to have a learner’s permit and what hrs you can drive on that permit. People nowadays have this sense of entitlement. What happened to actually earning and working for something?
In Japan, which had been long thought as if people were well tamed like sheep in the society, are rising more and more people who hurt others, with a simple explanation “because I was frustrated.” Few people have guns here, instead they use knives, iron rods, cars, and turn anything into weapon. For massive murder they use fire or gases. Thus I think it is not a matter of forbidding a specific weapon, but how to guide people to think others’ lives more important.
I love democracy and I love personal freedom from living in a democracy. I like the notion that citizens of a country should have the ability to defend themselves as well as enjoy sports that use equipment like firearms. On balance though, I like that in Australia we have strict firearms legislation. I like that in Australia sports shooting is popular and hunting is permitted. I know that criminals who wish to use firearms will acquire them, I’m not naive. I believe we have the balance right. I would like to see law enforcement augmented to better manage the criminal aspects. Gun ownership should be possible and people who own guns should be open to greater scrutiny. I don’t mind police and intelligence agencies knowing what they know about me. If I obey the law, I have nothing to fear.
i don’t see a need for the general public to have access to guns except for hunting purposes. it has been proven time and again that average citizens owning handguns does more harm than good. even just the number of children accidentally shooting themselves or others far outweighs the number of lives potentially saved by joe citizen having a gun.
I think you’d enjoy reading John Stossel’s book, “No, They Can’t.” He debunks lots of common ideas and beliefs. Serendipitously, I just finished ready the called, “Creating a Risk-Free World”, which discusses gun control, among other things. Here are a few interesting statistics:
“John Lott, in ‘More Guns, Less Crime’, revealed that crime fell by an average 10 percent in places where laws were passed that made it easier to own a gun…”
“In countries with tough gun control laws, like Canada and Britain, almost half of all burglaries occur when residents are home. But in the United States, only 13 percent of burglaries occur when someone’s at home.”
“For years, Washington, D.D., had the toughest gun laws in America. But it’s not like that stopped people from shooting each other. D.D. still earned the nickname ‘murder capital of the U.S.'”
Criminals don’t decide not to use guns because they’re against the law. Instead, the only ones without a means of defense are the people who obey a gun control law. I spend time out west, where (outside of California), there are different attitudes toward guns. Like everything else with a potential for danger, you have to learn how to use a gun and learn about gun safely.
I don’t believe it’s the government’s job to micromanage our lives by making laws about everything and trying to make laws to keep all risk from our lives. What we often have now is tyranny of the minority and a government that believes we’re too dumb to take care of ourselves and make intelligent decisions. i vigorously disagree.